What lessons can last comers, like North Korea and Myanmar, and the aid community that stands ready to assist them, learn from the experience of Vietnam? What motivated Vietnam to abandon Soviet-style central planning for a market economy (albeit one with a socialist orientation)? Did foreign technical assistance play an important role in designing and assisting in the implementation of the reforms that have propelled growth in Vietnam? Does Vietnam’s experience support or contradict the increasingly fashionable view that institutional change is a prerequisite to successful economic reform? Can a country, such as North Korea, emulate the transition experience of Vietnam and expect similar success?